Dear IAS Uncle Who Thinks the Farmers’ Movement Has Been ‘Radicalised’

The thing about radicalism is: It seeks to
change the fundamental principles of a society,
instead of honouring them.
Thousands of farmers woke up on Republic Day,
to honour the fundamental principle of dissent in India.
After months of chilly nights protesting to unheard demands,
they said Dilli Chalo, honouring the fundamental principle
of assembly and movement in India.

That their dissent would be met with police batons
leaving dead bodies still holding
the Indian flag they marched with,
is not a fundamental principle;
it is a broken social contract.
Police violence on social movements is the
real radicalism of today’s India; it defies
every fundamental principle of every polity paper
you cleared the UPSC exam to get this power.

Dear Uncle,
The movement is not radical, it is fundamental.
They may overpower us but we outnumber them,
which means more hearts beat for this movement than the
combined decibels of parliamentarians haggling in the
House of the People–
The People are fundamental.

Diksha Bijani is a spoken word poet from India. She is a policy graduate from Harvard University, and currently works in climate change at the World Bank. She tweets @BijlaniDiksha.

Featured image credit: Adnan Abidi/Reuters